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Campaña Cero Desalojos

Boeung Kak Lake, Phnom Penh

Boeung Kak Lake, Phnom Penh
Tipología de desalojo:
Por obras de infraestructura y megaproyectos , Por políticas de desarrollo urbano , Por privatizaciones del sector de la vivienda y de propriedades del estado
Area geográfica:
Phnom Penh
Boeung Kak Lake
Nombre de la comunidad o del nucleo familiar amenazados de desalojo:
Boeung Kak Lake Villages 1, 2, 4, 6, 20, 21, 22, 23, and 24
Número estimado de personas afectadas (en cifras):
Titulación de la tenencia:
Inquilinos , Propietarios
Caracteristicas económicas:
Caracteristicas sociales:
Ninguna de estas
Grupo de edad:
Informaciones sobre la historia y antecedentes del caso:
Spanning 90 hectares in central north Phnom Penh, Boeung Kak Lake is one of the only large open spaces left in Cambodia’s capital city. Prior to the recent evictions, approximately 4,000 families lived on and around the lake, with many depending on the lake for their livelihood. Families have been living around the lake since the early 1980s, when they returned to the city following the fall of the Khmer Rouge regime. Most of these families have legal rights to their land under Cambodia’s 2001 Land Law.

Despite the legitimate claims to the land of many of the residents around Boeung Kak, when the titling team from the World Bank-financed Land Management and Administration Project (LMAP) adjudicated the area in early 2007, the residents were denied title en masse. In the same month, the Cambodian government entered into a 99-year lease agreement with a private developer, Shukaku Inc., over 133 hectares including the lake and surrounding areas. Shukaku Inc. is headed by Lao Meng Khin, a Senator and major donor to the ruling Cambodian People’s Party, who is also director of the controversial logging company Pheapimex.

Families living in the development zone began facing pressure and intimidation to leave the area in August 2008, when the developer commenced filling in the lake as part of its development plans. While few details about the development have been made public, it is estimated that approximately 20,000 people will be displaced. Included in this figure are the more than 1,500 families that have already been evicted without their land rights being properly adjudicated and acknowledged. In the absence of any legal protections, these families accepted inadequate compensation under conditions of duress. This was in direct violation of Cambodian domestic law and international human rights law, as well as the World Bank’s Policy on Involuntary Resettlement, which the Cambodian government was contractually bound to respect in conjunction with LMAP.

Water levels in the remainder of the lake, which continues to be filled in with sand, have been rising since the onset of the rainy season in Cambodia, reaching critical levels in late August and inundating more than 1,000 residents’ homes with sewage-contaminated water. Residents have had to wade through knee and hip-high, unsanitary water to reach their homes, while others were forced to seek shelter elsewhere, as their homes were uninhabitable due to the flooding. Residents and local rights groups believe that the continued pumping of sand into the lake, and the inefficient drainage measures, indicate that the flooding is a deliberate measure to increase pressure on residents to move away from the area.

Nevertheless, since July 2010, residents have begun again to discuss their own alternatives to the development company’s plan to remove them from the area, including for some households, the demand that the government issue land title deeds for the land they currently occupy, and for others, the demand for a land-sharing arrangement that would enable them to settle on a smaller plot of land in one area of the development project. Since August, residents have stepped up their advocacy to demand that the government address their problems in a series of demonstrations targeting the Municipality of Phnom Penh. Unfortunately, as in all previous efforts to appeal to the authorities to find a satisfactory resolution to the conflict, these demands appear to have also fallen upon deaf ears. Moreover, the scale of violence and intimidation deployed against residents has also escalated and, in several recent incidents, their peaceful demonstrations have been violently suppressed by government security forces.

As the people of Boeung Kak Lake are trying to stand up, assert their housing rights and demand justice, the developer, Shukaku Inc., with the collusion of the Cambodian government, is pushing ahead with what amounts to the de facto forced eviction of the remaining residents around the lake by inundating their houses with sand and water. In early November 2010, Boeung Kak Lake Village 1 was buried under sand, making it the third out of nine villages around the lake to have been evicted.
Niveles de causa y responsabilidad:
Local , Nacional
Violaciones de los articulos de la normativa internacional:
International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families , International Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees (1951)
Razones esgrimidas para el desalojo, oficiales y no oficiales:
February 2007: Municipality of Phnom Penh signs a 99 year lease agreement with Shukaku, Inc., giving it the right to develop a 133 hectare area including Boeung Kak Lake that had previously been classified as state public property.

August 2008: Shukaku Inc. begins to pump sand into Boeung Kak Lake in preparation for commercial development, pressuring residents to leave, as the sand filling causes flooding and undermines the stability of houses built on the water.

November - December 2009: Under conditions of duress, residents of Boeung Kak Lake Villages 2 and 4 are compelled to move away from the area without adequate compensation or resettlement.

August 2010 - present: Escalating use of violence by the authorities to disrupt and disperse Boeung Kak Lake residents exercising their right to peaceful demonstration.

November 2010: De facto forced eviction of residents of Boeung Kak Lake Village 1 by directing a flow of sand and water toward their houses, resulting in the houses being buried.
Principales acontecimientos que ya tuvieron lugar en relación con el desalojo (fechas, año y hora):
Nombre de las autoridades que llevan o planean llevar a cabo el desalojo: :
Municipality of Phnom Penh, which is colluding with the developer, Shukaku, Inc.
Nombre de las organizaciones involucradas, sus fortalezas y debilidad, sus enfoques del problema:
Nombre de las agencias, ONGs o instituciones de apoyo que trabajan en la comunidad:
Housing Rights Task Force
Medidas tomadas o propuestas hasta el momento por la comunidad y/o las agencias u ONGs que apoyan para resistir el desalojo y/o buscar soluciones alternativas:
The residents of Boeung Kak Lake have filed legal complaints, repeatedly petitioned the Municipality of Phnom Penh, and held several small-scale demonstrations targeting the relevant government agencies. Furthermore, they have petitioned the UN Secretary-General, developed their own alternative plan for settlement, and attracted substantial media coverage.
Alternativas o posibles soluciones ofrecidas o propuestas por las autoridades locales o nacionales a las comunidades afectadas:
compensaciones , reubicación
Estrategias y futuras medidas previstas o discutidas para enfrentar el caso u otros desalojos:
Continued advocacy to stop the sand filling, stop the evictions, and persuade the government to open negotiations with the residents.
Fechas previstas importantes para (precisar de qué se trata y cuando sucederá: día, mes año):
Autor (Nombre, Dirección y responsabilidad):
Organización/organizaciones informantes:
Relación con AIH de las organizaciones informantes comunitarias que llevan el caso:
Cargar imagen:
Fecha de la denuncia:
Jeff Wong